Monday, June 01, 2009

Does this frosting make me look fat?

Happy Birthday Kid! Enjoy your pound cake.

Ask any kid if he'd like his birthday cake with or without icing, and I bet you could guess the answer. "ICING!!" Why, because it tastes better. Kids don't care about calories, fat content or carbs. All they care about is how something tastes. When we're kids, we know the more icing the better. Maybe that's because our parents were always trying to keep us out of the cookie jar, away from the snack cupboard, and out of the candy isle. As we get older, we come to accept that bran flakes are better for us than Frosted Flakes, Rice Krispies are better for us than Coco Krispies and, "you can just forget about Lucky Charms mister, you're having Cheerios!" It's a fact of life. The frosted something, is always going to be worse for us than its unfrosted counterpart.

"Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!!"

If everything you've read in the paragraph above seems to be on target then I'm afraid I have some bad news. The world has just been turned upside down. North is now south, east is now west and the Chicago Cubs are on track to with their 5th World Series in the past 7 years. Forget everything you think you know about anything because Frosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts and actually better for you than unfrosted Strawberry Pop-Tarts! I'll give you a minute.......

Okay, now that your head has stopped spinning, let me explain what brought me make this seemingly outlandish claim. The first, and most obvious, bit of evidence is the number of calories per serving. The unfrosted weigh in at 210 calories per serving. That means you're looking at 420 calories per package. On the other hand, the frosted variety weighs in at 200 calories per serving and 400 per package. Second, the unfrosted have 6 grams of fat to 5 grams for the frosted. The unfrosted also have 10mg more sodium than the frosted, 180 to 170 respectively. In fact, the only place the unfrosted beat out the frosted is in the total carbohydrates category. As you would imagine, the frosted actually have a little more sugar than the unfrosted (17g to 16g respectively) but I ask you, "Is it worth it?"

The Price of Good Taste

Just as in the comparison between the Low Fat Frosted Strawberry and the Frosted Blueberry, we see that there's always some give and take. In order to make something with less sugar taste better, you seem to have to add more fat. Conversely, if you want to make something with less sugar taste better, you had better add some more sugar. The bottom line is if you'd been depriving yourself of frosted flavors of Pop-Tarts just because you think they might be a little better for you, you might as well have the frosted ones a live a little. Hooray frosting!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Master of my Domain

Good news for those of you who hate hyphens. I recently purchased ""! That's right folks, gone are the days of the lengthy, hard to remember, URL. Let the days of the easily remembered, punctuation free, URL begin! It's so simple,, just try to forget it! (Well, then again, don't try too hard.)

In related news, Pop-Tarts Blog has finally been listed on both Yahoo and Google! I guess now it's only a matter of time until PTB (Pop-Tarts Blog) has a few hundred followers and Kellogg’s sends me a “cease and desist” letter. Someday, we'll look back on these as the "good old days," the days of Pop-Tarts related thoughts and ideas untainted by corporate influence.

Speaking of the good old days, I'll always have a special place in my heart for those of you who have been following from the beginning. Imagining you reading these posts with a smile provides me with just enough motivation to keep this thing going.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Surprise! Pop-Tarts are for Breakfast!

That's right, the results are in. According to 3 of the 6 people who voted, Pop-Tarts are indeed for breakfast. I'm sure it came as a huge relief to everyone that they are, in fact, not for world domination but it must also be quite a disappointment to those who firmly believed they were for snacking. Sorry snackers, maybe next time.

Thanks to everyone who participated. The the total vote record of 5 was shattered this week with a total of 6! We're getting there. Let's see if we can top 10 on the next poll!

As always, if you have any suggestions for poll questions, please feel free to submit comments to this post.

Thanks again!!


Thursday, May 21, 2009

From Vienna to your Kitchen, It's Apple Strudel Pop-Tarts!

You say apfel. I say apple.

Apfelstrudle is a traditional apple filled Austrian pastry that gained popularity in the 18th century. However, the oldest known recipe dates all the way back to the year 1696. And now, a mere 310 years later, Apple Strudel Pop-Tarts have arrived!

The new kid on the block.

I'm not going to waste anyone's time describing apple strudel. You don't need to be Mozart to appreciate what good apple strudel is all about. Let's get right to the point and see how the new guy stacks up. The first thing I noticed was that I could smell apple the second I opened the package. Good start, right? I suppose you would expect them to smell like apple but on the other hand, I've never opened a package of Strawberry Frosted and said, "Wow, smell those strawberries." Second point of interest is the unique topping. This is not your average Pop-Tart frosting. It's actually a pretty tasty combination of sugary crumbles and drizzled white frosting. This gives them a sugar glazed look that is prevalent in a lot of modern strudel recipes. Finally, they taste fantastic. What else can I say? Do all the historical ties, fruity smells and fancy toppings really matter it they don't taste good? You're not buying a bowl of potpourri here!

Heat them up then cool them down.

Toast or warm the Apple Strudel Pop-Tarts in the microwave and server them with vanilla ice cream. I can't be any clearer than that. Just try it. I'm not heading to Austria any time soon and I bet you're not either. (If you are, thanks for reading my blog "Baron".) The nice thing is you don't have to. These Pop-Tarts give you a little taste of Vienna in your kitchen for under 3 bucks a box!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fiber Face-off: Pop-Tarts vs. Fiber One

So you’ve seen them on the shelves and you think to yourself, “Hmm, 20% of my daily fiber in a Pop-Tart? Sounds like a good idea but they probably taste like a bail of hay.” Am I right? Well I’ve tasted offerings from 2 companies producing these fiber filled pastries so lets see how they stack up.

Tale of the Tape

Let’s begin with the technical stuff. For this post, I purchased 1 box of Pop-Tarts Frosted Chocolate Fudge and 1 box of Fiber One Frosted Chocolate Fudge. The first thing I noticed was that, for nearly the same price, the Pop-Tarts brand included 8 pastries. The Fiber One brand only included 6. Not a great start, Fiber One. Packaging aside, let’s get to the nutritional details.

As you can see, the Pop-Tarts have just a little more fat and 60% more sodium. A case could be made that, even though they both have the same amount of fiber, the Fiber One brand is just a little healthier than the Pop-Tarts brand. Hmm, I wonder if that extra fat and sodium is going to make any difference in the taste…

Alright you two, let’s have a clean fight.

Before we get to the taste, let’s have a look at both brands side-by-side. Both come in similar foil wrapping. However, the Fiber One wrapping has a more generic look with a little extra material. When you open them up, you’re looking at two pretty similar pastries with some slight differences. First, although it’s difficult to see in the picture, the Fiber One pastries (Right) are just a bit smaller than the Pop-Tarts (Left). Second, the edges of the Fiber One brand are crimped. This reminds me of the old Post Toaster Pastries. Anyone remember those? Not a bad thing, just different. Finally, there are little white specks on the Fiber One frosting. I can’t seem to figure out what these are or what they’re for. I suppose they’re some kind of decoration but the attempt seems pretty weak.

Ding! Ding! Round One.

I know, I know, you’re dieing to find out about the taste. How will the slimmer challenger, Fiber One, stack up against the chubby champ, Pop-Tarts, where it really counts? Fiber one got in some good licks with the arguably better nutritional stats but they just couldn’t cut the mustard when it came to taste. The Pop-Tarts are exactly what you would expect. They have a slight “whole grain” kind of flavor to them, but it’s not overpowering and they’re still, in every way, Pop-Tarts. Over all, the flavor is pretty good and the texture is about the same as any other Pop-Tart flavor. As for the Fiber One pastries, that’s a whole different story. In fact, when I took the first bite the phrase, “This is awful,” was the first thing to pop into my head. The texture was fibrous and reminded me of that bail of hay. I struggled through the first pastry and move on to the second. I guess my taste buds had given in as they not longer seemed quite as bad as they had initially. That being said, I haven’t really had the urge to try them again.

It’s a knockout!

I’ve said it before, I’m no nutritionist. So to me, the Pop-Tarts are a far better fiber option than the Fiber One brand. Who knew that an extra 100mg of sodium and an extra gram of fat could do so much for the taste?! That being the case, I had to stop the fight in the first round. After all, a little extra fiber in your diet can’t be a bad thing but if you have to choke it down every morning, you might as well buy some shredded wheat or bran cereal.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Poll Results: And The Toasters Have It!

Happy Friday folks. Well, it took me a day or two to tabulate all five votes from last week's poll but the results are finally ready. This week's question was, "How are you most likely to prepare your Pop-Tarts?" Here are the results:

Toasted: 4

Untoasted: 1

Frozen: 0

Congratulations to toasted Pop-Tarts with 80% of the vote!

Thanks to all of you who voted. The next question will be up today.

If you have an idea for next week's poll, please feel free to comment on this post.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Pop-Tarts. What could possibly go wrong?


In all fairness, I have to admit that I'm not the biggest fan of cookie dough flavored anything. If you see me at the ice cream shop, I'm probably not holding 2 scoops of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. That being said, I wasn't all that excited about trying these. In fact, the only reason I chose to review these was because my fiancé suggested it. Nevertheless, I really wanted to give this flavor a fair chance.

Come on. How bad could it be?

I like cookies, I love Pop-Tarts, how bad could it be? The answer, not really that bad. Unfortunately, they're not really that good either. They start out great as it appears they have the same frosting as the S'mores with a white swirl. Can't go wrong there, right? The outer crust is the typical vanilla Pop-Tarts crust which is also pretty darn good. Then we get to the cookie dough filling.

It's what's on the inside that counts...

I was really expecting this filling to be overly sweet. To my surprise, it wasn't quite a sweet as expected. As you can see from the picture, it looks just like chocolate chip cookie dough. There are even little chocolate flecks throughout. To its credit, the cookie dough filling tastes just like raw cookie dough. For me though, this wasn't really a plus. By the time I finished two of them, I actually felt a little ill. This wasn't just because my stomach wasn't feeling great that particular morning as I tried them several times both toasted and untoasted. To be fair, I wasn’t actually ill after eating them. Something just didn’t feel right. I guess it was mostly the thought or feeling of eating too much raw cookie dough.

Give it to me straight Doc...

The filling tastes so much like raw cookie dough that I'm thinking of dissecting a few, extracting the filling and baking it, just to see if I end up with an actual cookie. Although, I already have a pretty good idea on how that will turn out. Bottom line, if you love eating raw cookie dough, you'll love Cookie Dough Pop-Tarts. As for me, I'll stick to the cooked stuff and other Pop-Tart varieties.